The Livestock Development Department (LDD) has brushed aside public criticism that its anti-rabies vaccines are substandard, resulting in the outbreak of rabies which has claimed five lives in recent weeks.
LDD deputy director-general Chirasak Pipatpongsophon said Friday (March 16) that rabies outbreak were not caused by the use of substandard vaccines to control the disease.
He, however, admitted that, in 2016, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) made a random check of anti-rabies vaccines imported from Spain and found out that the efficacy of the vaccines was below standard.
After the finding, he said all the vaccines imported from Spain were recalled and the LDD had scrapped the procurement deal with the importing company of the vaccines and all the recalled vaccines were eventually destroyed.
Mr Chirasak added that the LDD had limited budget each year to buy only one million doses of anti-rabies vaccine which was not enough to inoculate all the pet and stray dogs and cats, numbering more than 10 million.
If rabies is to be wiped out in the next two years, he said owners of pet dogs and cats must bring their animals to clinics to have them vaccinated instead of depending on free vaccination from the government.
FDA deputy secretary-general Dr Surachoke Tangwiwat also assured that all the substandard rabies vaccines have been destroyed since late 2016, saying that FDA has been coordinating with the Medical Science Department and the LDD in checking the rabies vaccines and have not found any substandard product.